Surf in Big Apple - NYC
Surf escape at Rockaway Beach - New York
Surfing in New York ? If the city is at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, it is best known for its urban, agitated, connected atmosphere, like European capitals.
Few travelers and even less surfers, will know that at the east of the city, in the borough of Queens, a few subway stops from Long Beach, Manhattan or Brooklyn, you can find a seaside town, frequented by urban surfers from Big apple, throughout the year, but especially by a community of local surfers who set the tone and make the place vibrant.
This place is called Rockaway. Early popular last century, frequented by rich people from New York who came to relax, go to restaurants and escaped from the city. The Ramones with their song Rockaway Beach and Woody Allen's movie Radio days, which takes place at this location, have made it notorious.
If Long Beach, is the other seaside district of New York (The Quiksilver Pro New York took place there in 2011, won by Owen Wright), Rockaway remains where it all started for New York Surfing.
A lot of New York surfers go there by subway. Fun to see these guys with their boards inside the tube !
Take the A Train / Direction: Far Rockaway to Broad Channel, change line S (direction: Rockaway Park-Beach 116th St) to Beach 90th Street. In less than 2 hours you are there !
You can also use the services of Rockaway Beach and Ferry boats that take you, your bike and your board for about $ 20 and 1:30 time cruise, from Pier 11 at Wall Street on the East River. Fun journey that takes you from the skyscrapers right to the ocean.
Rockaway Beach is a long coastal strip, which has a dozen surf spots.
Rockaway 101 on Rockaway Peninsula. A huge beach, the largest urban US beach on the Atlantic. In 1800, Rockaway was divided into 2 distinct villages : Holland and Hammels that finally merged. At the time, only wealthy New Yorkers went to Rockaway, until the construction of the train line opened to the road to a larger public.
Rockaway 102 : This strip of land advanced on the ocean was partially destroyed in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy. Gradually, major reconstruction with an impressive system of protection against hurricanes, have been made to try to rebirth the area.
Like most American beaches, regulations are strict, especially for surfing. The practice is allowed only between 67th and 69th Street and between 87th and 92th. The rest of the beach is for public bathing.
Conditions : Ideal with South or South East swell, mid tide, north N / W wind. The waves are beach breaks with rights and lefts breaking on sandbars and along jetties. You may have some nice sessions and sandbanks support perfectly the big waves. Normally, the bar is pretty easy to cross.
A lot of people in the water in summer and even crowdy... As well as on the beach. Sweltering New York summers bring everybody on the beaches and surfing is now a popular sport for New Yorkers.
The best season is of course fall and late spring. Offshore hurricanes create beautiful swells. Rockaway is facing south and storms are coming from the North, which gives a good configuration for quality and regular waves.
Winter is harsh, but going surfing across the snowy beach under the winter sun is a pure moment of happiness. Few people, good atmosphere. The local will tell you that if you do not surf in winter in this area, you are not a surfer !
Rockaway lives like a real small seaside town on the California coast, with its bars, restaurants, surf shops, surf clubs. If during your next trip to New York, you want to feel like switching at once from hype New York to Venice beach in Los Angeles in a few minutes, then go and greet Brandon D'Leo, the eccentric boss of Rockaway Beach Surf Club, located 302 Beach 67th Street.
The place is worth a look. Old boards with floral motifs and Surf celebrity posters hanging on the walls, you'll hear the sound of ukulele music, meet babas cool wearing tank tops, drink a beer around a barbecue with tattooed bikers. The Club is very active in its participation in the restoration of the beach and collect donations through the support of artists, writers, musicians.
After a good surf session, you can also go relax at Connolly's Bar and sip a Piña Coladas, eat a salad for cheap, but also try Surfside Bagels located 95th Rockaway Blvd or Rockaway Taco and enjoy its incredible tofu and fish tacos. Finally, regenerate and practice your yoga at Lena's Rocks facing the sea.
If you intend to learn to surf : Locals is a surf school on 67th Street. It is managed by two local veterans surfers Michael Kololyan and Michael Reinhardt.
To rent equipment (I imagine that, travelling in New York with your beloved, you had not planned to take your second wife or husband, your board). For $ 10 an hour or $ 40 per day you can rent a board at Breakwater Surf Shop Co. located 67-20 Rockaway Blvd.
Finally, if you need to spend the night here, to escape the stress of Big Apple, you can stay at the W Hotel Union Square which offer packages lodging, surf lessons and dinner. Start from 469 USD for a weekend.
Destination Surf is working on New York offers, soon online on the site.
New York has not finished to surprise you...
Thanks you to Andreea Waters, local surfer for her photos
Working for several years in tourism in France and abroad, Jean-Hervé Cristol (aka Jean Révé) also has a large number of kilometer mark traveling around Planet Surf in search of endless summer waves.
In 2004 he created Destination Surf, the first agency specialized in Surf Travel , then Endless Summer a blog with tips, info and travel stories, in order to enjoy and share this rewarding experience with all surf travelers. → Learn more